Saltire programme launches

This year's iteration offers Scottish companies short-term participation. Picture: Robert Perry.
This year's iteration offers Scottish companies short-term participation. Picture: Robert Perry.
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This year’s iteration of a high-profile entrepreneurial programme that says it can “transform” the careers of participants has kicked off, launched by one of Scotland’s best-known names in business and offering Scottish companies short-term participation.

Chris van der Kuyl, chairman of Entrepreneurial Scotland, opened the organisation’s Saltire Fellowship Leadership Development scheme, now in its ninth year, with fellows encouraged to embrace “creative thinking and adaptive decision-making” to help Scotland be the most entrepreneurial country in the world.

This year’s cohort will spend six weeks at Babson College in Boston, deemed the world’s number one school for entrepreneurship, and two weeks in Silicon Valley and San Francisco surrounded by leading innovative business names. Also on the cards is a 12-week project in Scotland and five two-day entrepreneur-led masterclasses.

Among the new additions this year is opening up the fellowship to Scottish companies who can benefit from two one-week learning journeys – one being at Babson College and the other in Silicon Valley, taking part in company visits and entrepreneurial challenges.

This year is also the second of the programme’s partnership with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa), where the fellows will be working on a marine plastics project to improve environmental sustainability.

The group has also been able to learn from Marcus Wylie of Dundee-based Insights, a longstanding partner of Entrepreneurial Scotland, on effective communication methods both personally and professionally.

Robbie Rapson, one of this year’s fellows who works in the tourism industry, said: “Getting the opportunity to study at the best school for entrepreneurship in the world is an absolutely fantastic opportunity.

“The tourism industry in Scotland continues to grow, and going on this course will help me think entrepreneurially about how to turn it into a world class destination for visitors in the future”